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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

STACKHOUSE'S SOAPBOX: TOP SJHL COACHES

Mike Stackhouse
Last week, I posted a list of the top goalies I’ve watched in the SJHL since I moved to this province in 2001.  This week, I decided to compile a list of the top coaches:

Bob Beatty (Humboldt, La Ronge) - Making the playoffs in La Ronge isn’t easy.  So, winning back to back championships like Beatty did is good enough for me to put him at the top.

Dean Brockman (Humboldt) - Worked with Beatty in Humboldt, succeeded him in Humboldt, and won four titles.

Don Chesney (Yorkton) - Smart hockey man who always got the best and then some from his players.  You’d be hard pressed to find the last time Yorkton had a good team that didn’t have Ches’ fingerprints on it in some fashion.  I’m going to guess it was the mid 90s when Wade Klippenstein ran the team.

Dave Hunchak (Kindersley) - Similar to La Ronge really in that no coach has done what Hunchak was able to do in Kindersley and that’s win consistently.  Before there were such things as a cap on the number of 20-year-olds, Hunchak instituted his own internal cap to ensure his teams didn’t turn over too badly and suffer in the standings.

Dwight McMillan (Weyburn) - Most of McMillan’s success came prior to the turn of the century, but there is no denying his greatness.  He won an RBC Cup in 2005 with a team that was barely good enough to make the SJHL playoffs.

Trevor Blevins (Melfort) - Brought Melfort their first championship in 19 years when he won in 2015.  He has two titles and his clubs have been relevant ever since he took over in December of 2013.

Trent Cassan (Yorkton) - Went to two league finals and also won two championships.  Maybe worth noting Chesney was also involved with this, not to diminish Cassan’s accomplishments but to further amplify Chesney’s effect on hockey teams.

Mike Reagan (Flin Flon) - While he’s never brought a championship to his hometown, there is no denying the Bombers were a cellar dweller for a prolonged period before turning over their franchise to a rookie bench boss in 2008.  He’s the longest serving SJHL coach.

Jamie Fiesel (Melville) - It’s a shame he’s not still coaching and he didn’t deserve to lose his job when he did at the end of the 2015-16 season.  He hit a lot of home runs making trades with his coaching peers.

Kevin Hasselberg (Battlefords) - A good one who got away.  Hasselberg left the North Stars after five years of brilliant work and had an abbreviated stint in the pro ranks before coming back this year and ending up in the AJHL.

*****Not an easy list.  There have been so many great men come through this league and many of them I’m proud to call my friend*****

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dwight McMillan should be higher. Also Gerry James is omitted another great SJHL coach in Melville and Yorkton

Mike Stackhouse said...

Gerry James coached before I started watching in 2001. I think I mention that at the top of the article. I only took into account from 2001 and beyond (since my time of being involved with the league). Mac also enjoyed his greatest success prior to 2001.

MIKE